The History of Tri-County OIC
Tri-County OIC is a community-based, non-profit, Federal, State, local, foundation and supporter funded organization, which is part of a greater nationwide alliance of OIC’s. Tri-County OIC is affiliated with OICA (Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America), which has 40 affiliates in over 20 states across the country and the District of Columbia.
OICA and OIC International is a network of employment and training programs located across the United States and abroad bound together by a common goal: to serve the economically dependent and the un/under-employed. Reverend Leon Howard Sullivan (1922-2001) founded the first OIC in an abandoned jailhouse in Philadelphia in 1964.
Aware of the frustrations of the poor people in Harrisburg, and after hearing about a grass roots manpower-training program that had started a year earlier in Philadelphia, Reverend Franklin L. Henley, pastor of the St. Paul's Baptist Churched started an OIC in Harrisburg in 1965.
The OIC program offered hope, opportunity, and employment potential through academic remediation and vocational skills training to many who previously had been discouraged because they were considered untrainable and unemployable.
In November of 1965, Reverend Henley called together the black ministers of Dauphin County. During the meeting he explained OIC’s philosophy and received a commitment from the ministers to start an OIC in Harrisburg. In 1965 OIC of Dauphin County (as it was originally named) was founded. A fundraiser was held and within two months the first classes started. Support for the project grew from the private and public sectors. Others also joined and Harrisburg OIC became the second such organization in the state and third in the nation.
Through the years, OIC has grown. We have taught class at over 75 locations in multiple counties (Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, and York). OIC offers recruitment, outreach, basic literacy skills, training, vocational skills training, job development, counseling, and placement services to hundreds of students each year.
- OIC remains a grass-roots organization that changes to meet the needs of its students while maintaining the philosophy of its founder.
- OIC believes in the right of every person to live a life of dignity and self-respect.
- OIC offers every person the opportunity to begin to claim that right.
- OIC trains people for life.
OIC International’s mission is to build self-reliance and entrepreneurship through sustainable technical and vocational skills development.
OIC International’s vision is to lead the way in creating self-reliant communities comprised of empowered and engaged individuals who improve their quality of life and alleviate poverty.